National Institutes for Historically- Underserved Students ​​




Yesterday becomes today. Today becomes tomorrow. Like a daffodil with its green stem bursting through top soil and yielding a fragrant yellow bloom in the blink of an eye, history meets the future.

Perhaps Nobel Laureate William Faulkner said it best:  “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
That does not mean we should be held hostage by the past, but that we must admit its profound influence over the present and the future. It does not mean one generation must continuously feel shame or angst for the one which came before it, but it does mean that denying the past and its relationship to the present and future is both unproductive and unfair.

The promises of equality in the founding sentiments of the United States would be sufficient if every citizen started from the same point in history. Since some of us started the descendants of slaves and others the descendants of masters, both literally and figuratively, equity must take over where equality falls short.
“All men are created equal,” according to the noble sentiments of the U.S. Constitution. How many women signed that document? How many people of color? How many openly gay or poor people?

Giving credit where it is due, the aspirations of these educated, white, affluent men were noble indeed, but somewhere between creation and opportunity the dream of equality was lost. Now is the moment to find it. Education is the tool with which to build it.

When the least powerful of us is reduced or overlooked, the most powerful is reduced at the same time by not living into the full measure of his or her humanity. The needs of the marginalized must sometimes be more important than the needs of the enfranchised. Serving those needs fairly is a first step toward realizing the promises of our Constitution for all people. Looking toward the future, advocacy for one is ultimately advocacy for all.
Education is the great equalizer, not just for individuals, but for families, communities, and nations.

It must not be simply a privilege of those to whom access comes easily. It must not be tailored only to serve the needs of those prepared to excel. It must be a right of every person willing to work hard for it.

It is less the job of the student to meet the educational system prepared than it is the job of that system, at all levels, to meet each student wherever she or he is along the continuum and to serve as a bridge to opportunities for a lifetime of professional contributions and service. Only when this vision is realized will the promise of equality and justice for all made so long ago by this nation be kept.

Only when education translates into social, economic, and cultural power will Dr. King’s dream become reality, that we are judged by the content of our character, that our differences are causes for celebration and testaments to strength rather than excuses for prejudice.
Our Mission:
The purpose of the National Institutes for Historically-Underserved Students shall be to research and identify common barriers to educational equity and success for all historically-underserved students, to develop and disseminate research-based solutions to those barriers, and to recruit, retain, and graduate more of those students who are currently being overlooked or failed by American higher education.

Sample populations to be served include, but are not limited to:
First-generation college students
Racial and ethnic minority groups such as Hispanic-Latino Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans
Historically disenfranchised gender minorities—women and transgendered
Young men of color
Young women of color
Socially-economically disadvantaged
Undocumented students
Adult learners
Academically underprepared

Our Institutes:
There will be four inter-related institutes operating under one umbrella:

The Institute for Social Justice in Higher Education
The Institute for Curricular Reform in Higher Education
The Institute for Research and Best Practices in Higher Education
The Institute for Pre-K through Adult Education Partnerships in Higher Education

The Institute for Social Justice in Higher Education will focus on civil rights issues advocating for historically-underserved and disenfranchised student populations.

The Institute for Curricular Reform in Higher Education will develop curricular materials based on research and best practices that can be shared with colleges and universities at no cost or cost-recovery because texts by publishers have become prohibitively expensive for our most vulnerable students. This Institute will also focus on development of culturally-relevant pedagogies.

The Institute for Research and Best Practices in Higher Education will utilize research-based models to test the theories which emerge from the other Institutes and to validate the efficacy of our work. It will be the dissemination arm to share cross-institute resources with the broader education community.

The Institute for Pre-K through Adult Education Partnerships in Higher Education will build primary/secondary/higher education partnerships and a continuum of best practices. The Institute will focus on familial education and develop its resources with familial education as its central tenet.
The National Institutes for
Historically-Underserved Students

"You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies.
You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise."
-Maya Angelou